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*Snail's Legs* by Damian Harvey, illustrated by Korky Paul
Also illustrated by Korky Paul:

Snail's Legs
by Damian Harvey, illustrated by Korky Paul
Ages 4-7 32 pages Frances Lincoln November 2006 Hardcover    

Why is Snail wearing his shell on his head? Why isn’t it on his back? It turns out it’s his running hat - and snail does a lot of running and winning. He’s the fastest in the woods. Frog used to be fastest, but he is mostly all talk now, although he still enjoys a good race.

One day the King’s chef arrives in the woods. He needs to find “an animal with very strong legs.” To find the strongest legs, a race must be held, because both Frog and Snail insist they have the strongest legs. Neither is prepared to give up the chance of being the one to help the chef prepare a birthday treat for the King. But friendships take precedence sometimes, and in this case Snail lets his friendship for Frog shine through. Unfortunately, the King couldn’t care less about friendships. He’s only after two things, and needless to say, Frog has both.

This book about showing off fast, strong legs turns into a book about legs going into hiding, a story where legs have to be kept-under-a-shell-secret-legs. The author and illustrator also reveal their truths about snail shells and the slippery substance snail’s trail behind them.

Author Damian Harvey’s dream wasn’t to meet a King or win a race, but to become a radio presenter. I like the goofiness and the seriousness in his story Snail's Legs.

Korky Paul was born in Zimbabwe, and I love his illustrations in his Winnie the Witch series for children. In Snail's Legs, Frog and Snail are drawn with spots, bumps, and very long legs! They have a prehistoric look, as if they have just stepped out of the dinosaur era. Their woodland friends are toothy and whiskery, almost clownish with their tongues dangling out every which way. Children will love these characters. And the King’s chef? He’s the wackiest of them all! In his rainbow-colored checkered pants, little round glasses, and fly-away hair, he looks like the farthest cry ever from a King’s chef. But when you see the inside of the castle, he seems to fit right in. Paul can add "World’s Greatest Drawer of Snail and Frog Hugs and King’s Chefs" to his personal declaration of "World’s Greatest Portrait Painter and Dinosaur Drawer."

I recommend Snail's Legs, and I hope Damian Harvey and Korky Paul make another book together soon.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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